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Stories of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev

Deaf Angels and Failed Dates
When a matchmaker dispaired of arranging fitting spouses for the children of R. Levi Yitzchak, the rabbi replied with a keen spiritual insight.
R. Levi Yitzchak's
Finally, in a dramatic denouement, Levi Yitzchak placed the tallit firmly back in its place and announced: “If you’re a chassid and a scholar, then you lead the prayers!” and stalked back to his seat near the side wall of the synagogue . . .
Minister for the Defense
It was the afternoon before Passover, and Rabbi Levi Yitzchak was wandering through the streets of the Jewish quarter seeking out local smugglers . . .
Prelude to a Sermon
"He's qualified to pass judgement," said the Chassidic master. "He has a personal interest in the matter. He is preaching only because he is in need of funds to marry off his daughter..."
Caught in the Act
None would buy the great soul of R. Levi Yitzchak on Rosh Hashanah.
Two Groschen
"The Rebbe must know something we do not," whispered disciples of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev. "Perhaps he sees a terrible calamity decreed for the coming year, G-d forbid"
Fifty-Year-Old Honey
The entire town would be paying attention to the new rabbi’s first ruling. Everyone was sure to wonder: Why is the law of the Torah so opposite to common sense?
Nine Hundred Rubles
Suddenly the Rebbe turned to the melamed: "If you wish, I will tell you three words of advice. But for each you must pay me in full. For the first, you must give me three hundred rubles..."
Shmerl's Seder
The Rebbe looked around him. It was obvious that only he had heard the heavenly announcement. "Has anyone heard of a tzaddik called Shmerl the Tailor?" he asked. No one had
The mounting trepidation electrified the air as the Yom Kippur service was nearing its end in the Barditchev synagogue...
The occasion was the famous "Zhlobener wedding" in which a granddaughter of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi wed a grandson of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Barditchov...
The Miser of the Town
No one loved his fellow Jews more than R. Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev. This story paints a picture of life in Berditchev of old.
Broad Shoulders
This story helps us appreciate the difference in style and philosophy between Chabad and general Chassidus.
Nothing New
Silently, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak studied the expectant faces. "My brothers!" he said in a respectful tone of voice. "Did we not agree that I was not to be burdened with discussions of old policies?"
The Story Behind the Shorn Lock
"When the duke responded with a showering of compliments, I hardly believed my good fortune."
The Stranger Who Wanted to Go to Heaven
The messenger approached a traveler and asked him whether he was carrying an etrog . . .
The Faithful Innkeeper
The inn, meanwhile, had undergone a drastic reformation. With his son in charge, it was no longer a quiet and sleepy roadside tavern. The local nobility began to frequent the inn and held their meetings, parties, and events there.
Rushing Man
Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev once saw a man running in the market place. "Why do you hurry so?" he asked him
It Wasn’t Even a Sacrifice
"I hereby give you as an absolute gift, for now until eternity, my complete portion in the world to come. If I have any reward waiting for me in paradise, it's yours."
The Secret Benefactor
"Now you know why I felt compelled to attend the funeral of such an extraordinary person.”
Selichot In Berditchev
The tantalizing smell of freshly baked kichlech and fresh herring could not be ignored. "…What on earth is the rabbi going to do with the refreshments at this hour?"
The Burial Society's Tefillin
An assortment of tefillin—some old and worn, others glossy and new—lay neatly arranged.
The Kidnapped Groom
Baila, an orphan adopted by Rabbi Levi Yitzchak and his wife, was marrying an exceptional young man who was also parentless.
Jacob's Stuff
Matter before spirit?
The Terrified Innkeeper and a Mysterious Letter
For almost 20 years the innkeeper had avoided paying his annual dues to the baron from whom he leased the property.
The Broken Etrog
In the city of Berditchev, home to tens of thousands of Jews, there was but one etrog . . .
An Etrog From Eden
The Angel Michael harnessed the horse to the wagon of mitzvot, and the wagon driver cracked his whip. Suddenly the wagon gave a lurch forward, flattening the piles of sins that had been obstructing its way...
A Ticket to Heaven
The Berditchever Rebbe calmed him and asked, "Is there anyone you suspect in the theft?"